At Stonewall Columbus’ 2017 Pride parade, several community members stepped out into the street with the intent of bringing public attention to the lack of safe spaces for Black and brown LGBTQIA+ folks within the larger LGBTQIA+ community. Within one minute of leaving the curb, the group was accosted by aggressive CPD officers, who assaulted them with bikes, pepper spray, and sheer force. During this altercation, four folks––all Black trans and queer individuals––were arrested. They have become known as the #BlackPride4. Click here for news coverage of the #BlackPride4.
Despite hosting the parade at which this altercation occurred and claiming to be an advocacy organization “for all” LGBTQIA+ people in Central Ohio, Stonewall Columbus not only failed to aid the #BlackPride4 after their arrest, they refused communication with them and their supporters, resisted public calls for change and resignations, and, finally, testified for the prosecution in the #BlackPride4 trials of Wriply, Kendall, and Ashley.
Stonewall Columbus’ gross failures to protect and support the #BlackPride4 and all queer, trans, and intersex people of color (QTIPOC)––as well as their refusal to condemn CPD’s actions or police presence at Pride––makes it necessary to provide an alternative Pride celebration FOR the community BY the community.
In solidarity with the #BlackPride4’s initial message, Black Queer & Intersectional Columbus and its partners are organizing a celebration which centers QTIPOC and those at other intersections of oppression, takes no corporate sponsorship, and outrightly fights against state-sanctioned violence.